director's cut; Larry Gelbart on W C Fields's `The Bank Dick'
Thursday 22 June 1995
You could do that scene today, absolutely. It wouldn't be surprising to have a black man in a bank, though, given the social climate, you'd be afraid he was going to mug you or kill you. People feel uncomfortable about those reactions now, except for black people themselves, especially in America, who never stop making fun of the fact that you're white and you're uncomfortable about the fact that they're black. White people seem far more sensitive about it.
Fields made a lot of mileage out of hating kids, hating married life, hating the boss, hating his daughter's fiance... just hating. I don't think we've ever had anybody like him since: somebody you adored for being unadorable. Andrew Dice Clay was just too rough; he had none of Fields's skill. And where is he now? But Fields is in the pantheon of American film comedians.
n Larry Gelbart is a writer-producer, whose credits include `Tootsie', `Movie, Movie', `Oh God', the TV show of `M*A*S*H' and the stage musical `City of Angels'
TV reviewGrace Dent: Jimmy McGovern's new drama sheds light on sex slavery in the colonies
Eurovision 2015Australian Idol winner unveiled as representative Down Under
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tourist films plane's descent just metres above packed Caribbean beach
- 2 Indian woman creates 'Marriage CV' after parents put her on dating site: 'Definitely not marriage material. Won’t grow long hair, ever'
- 3 World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 GamerGate: developer Tim Schafer provokes rage with joke about online gaming activists at industry awards
The 9 rules every Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner cartoon had to follow are wonderfully pedantic
Toy Story 4: Pixar promises a romcom storyline 'separate' from the much-loved trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
World Book Day: Boy 'excluded' from school after dressing up as Fifty Shades' Christian Grey
The world's most beautiful libraries: Introducing Franck Bohbot's House of Books project
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Elif Shafak: Turkish author warns against rise of British nationalism
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests